Sports Tennis Image Credit: Tennis
Sports Tennis Image Credit: Tennis

Dedicated Doubles Coaches Matter

Doubles players need a determined partner—and can benefit from a dedicated coach

Mark Knowles

Over the first 10 years of our careers, Daniel Nestor and I were a very successful doubles team. At the time, though, both of us were focused primarily on singles. We rarely did any doubles drills or practiced together, and our coaches concentrated on our singles results. But Daniel had a big lefty serve, I was very good at volleying, and we both liked to come to net. So the way we played singles transitioned very well to the doubles court, and we were able to achieve a lot of success naturally.

Towards the second parts of our careers, we focused more on doubles. That’s when we worked with a doubles-specific coach—which paid huge dividends. Scott Davidoff was a big part of the success Daniel and I achieved; John Farrington and Martin Laurendeau, two Davis Cup captains, also knew the intricacies of doubles and gave us an edge. The Bryan brothers have always worked with a doubles-only coach, primarily David Macpherson.

In doubles, the margins of victory are so thin, and they’ve gotten even thinner because of the increase in power. The game has changed; more players are standing at the back of the court than ever. Players have to evolve with the game, and some of the more successful teams now have a doubles-specific coach to help with that adjustment.

Let’s consider Jamie Murray. He wasn’t making significant inroads in singles, by his own admission, so he pursued a career in doubles. He began investing more time with coach Louis

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